Mystery shopper: 10 days in Sri Lanka

Location: West Sussex

Wanted: A couple would like 10 days in Sri Lanka before March, staying near some good beaches.

Budget: £6,000

The Co-operative Travel, Southwick Square, Southwick

I was greeted immediately and given a business card. The agent was very friendly and showed a real interest in turning my enquiry into a sale. I was shown a number of brochures and was recommended a half-board stay at the Turyaa Ahungalla hotel, flying with British Airways or Emirates, for £2,590 per person. I felt the agent asked pertinent questions and had good knowledge. However, she could have probed further about my budget and given more details about excursion options. No real attempt was made to close the sale but my contact details were taken.

Lancing Travel, North Road, Lancing

I was asked if I wanted help straight away. The agent was friendly and enthusiastic, and seemed to have good product and resort knowledge. However, I got the impression she lacked experience as she didn’t offer to follow up my enquiry or attempt to get me to commit to a holiday on the day. I was recommended a 10-night stay at the Heritance Ahungalla Hotel for £2,378, including flights.

Thomas Cook, High Street, Shoreham

I was greeted almost immediately upon entering the shop. I was given two brochures. These were good, but I was not given recommendations or prices. I got the distinct impression the agent wanted to get on with other things. As I was not given any advice there was not really any sale to try to close. My contact details were not asked for, so the agent had no way of following up with me.


All of the agents could have asked more questions but the winner ticked the boxes.

Winning Agent

Simone Pontremoli, Travel consultant

I have worked at The Co operative Travel in Southwick for six months and was at John Proctor Travel for eight years before that. We get a lot of variety, which keeps me on my toes and makes my job interesting. Booking a holiday never fails to be exciting and I get a real buzz from helping my customers create their dream holiday. That’s how I know I’m in the right job.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.